Campaign group event will launch alternatives to garden towns

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PRESS RELEASE 17 January 2019:  Campaign group event will launch alternatives to the garden towns


CAUSE has organised a seminar called “Beyond the slogans – garden town realities and a look at other ways”, which has attracted high profile planning speakers and over 130 guests.

“This event will be the first opportunity for public debate about the issues surrounding the North Essex Garden Communities project.   Until now issues have been boxed into three minute ‘have your say’ slots at council meetings or reduced to hollow slogans.    Our event addresses key unanswered questions, such as, ‘How will we deal with the huge increase in traffic arising from 43,000 homes – will congestion charging be forced on us?’ and, ‘How will everything promised really be paid for?’  

We are very pleased to welcome recognised experts in planning, transport and urban design and North Essex Garden Communities representatives to join the debate.  We are also very excited to provide the platform for Ted Gittins to present his alternative proposal for growth in north Essex and for William Sunnucks to present an alternative financial strategy.”, CAUSE’s spokesperson, Rosie Pearson, said,


Ted Gittins, who has been involved in planning in Essex for over 50 years, both for Essex County Council and for Colchester Borough Council will demonstrate that garden communities are not the ‘only way’ with his launch of “Another Reasonable Alternative”.  This is something that the authorities will have to take seriously given the Planning Inspector’s letter last year.

William Sunnucks, with experience as finance director of infrastructure and property companies, will show that the big proposed settlements are not financially viable, and will complement Ted’s spatial strategy with a financial strategy that will deliver infrastructure and housing.

Tim Pharoah, an independent transport consultant, will discuss what it takes to deliver the promised ‘step change’ in public transport and set out the many challenges involved in reducing car use on the scale proposed by the authorities.  He will show that adding extra buses on existing roads won’t do:  public transport will only be used if journey times are shorter or the costs are lower.   Only radical steps such as congestion charging will work.

Troy Hayes, a town planner, will look at the different ways of ‘capturing land value uplift’ to finance social housing, schools, roads and hospitals.  How can it be achieved in practice?

Members of the audience will have a chance to hear a debate between CAUSE and representatives of North Essex Garden Communities Limited – and to ask questions.

Note:   The Campaign Against Urban Sprawl in Essex, (CAUSE),  is a volunteer run group campaigning for a better way of providing for housing in north Essex than the ‘North Essex Garden Communities.  Contact Rosie Pearson for more information.